Sports

Former Green River baseball coach takes job at Texas Tech

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Former Green River Community College head baseball coach Dan Spencer has resigned as associate head coach at Oregon State to accept a similar position at Texas Tech.

“This wasn’t an easy decision," said Spencer, who coached Green River from 1992-1996 and recruited and coached several Federal Way players. "Oregon State is a great place to coach and Corvallis is a great place to live. “But there’s something about going back to where you played that’s very special to anyone, and when you couple that with the chance that I could become the head coach there, that’s something I couldn’t pass up.”

Spencer, 41, has developed as one of the most highly-touted assistant coaches in the country after helping to orchestrate back-to-back national championships at Oregon State. But the allure of returning to Texas Tech was too much for Spencer, who played for the Red Raiders under current head coach Larry Hays. The new position at Texas Tech comes with the possibility that Spencer could be elevated to head coach whenever Hays steps down. Spencer will be in charge of pitching/catching and will be the Red Raiders' recruiting coordinator. He held the same positions at Oregon State.

Over the last two seasons, Spencer's pitching staff's have compiled 3.41 and 3.48 cumulative earned-run averages while leading the team to 50-16 and 49-18 respective records. His group led the Pac-10 in ERA in both 2005 and 2006 while his bullpen helped pave the way to back-to-back national titles by contributing 20-plus saves in both 2006 and 2007. Under his leadership, the Beavers have had three pitchers and one catcher named to All-America teams and seven drafted in the top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft. Eddie Kunz, the ace of the 2007 staff, and catcher Mitch Canham, the squad's leading hitter, were both first-round draft selections in this year's draft.

“While we will definitely miss his contributions to our program, we realize that this is a great professional opportunity for Dan," said Oregon State head coach Pat Casey. "He has the chance to perhaps become the head coach at the Division I program where he played his college baseball, and that’s something not many people find themselves able to do. We wish Dan the very best of luck at Texas Tech, and myself, our players and alumni, and the rest of Beaver Nation will always be appreciative of the work he put in and what he helped us accomplish here.”

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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